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You are here: Home » GreenFaith in the Media » Press Clips » Church goes green; gets national recognition

Church goes green; gets national recognition

By Christi Maurer
Prince William News

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Triangle, Virginia, graduates the GreenFaith Certification Program.

Church goes green; gets national recognition

Father Frank Critch and Father Kevin Downey display the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church's GreenFaith environmental leadership award.

Triangle's St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church was recently recognized a “GreenFaith Sanctuary” and faith-based environmental leader by GreenFaith.

GreenFaith is a national interfaith environmental coalition that awards churches, synagogues, mosques and temples a certification for carrying out more than two dozen environmental activities in two years.

“Saint Francis of Assisi has shown deep commitment and leadership,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s executive director. “They have made significant changes to lessen their environmental footprint, and to inspire and educate their community about one of the most important issues of our time.”

In 2012, St. Francis of Assisi Parish was accepted into the GreenFaith Certification Program. The church was the first in Virginia to participate in the program.

“By definition as Franciscans, we’re obligated to be good stewards of God’s creation,” said Father Kevin Downey, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

When the church began the GreenFaith program they audited their facilities and programs using templates GreenFaith provides and they created an action plan.
They then set out to become more environmentally friendly.

They reduced paper usage and increased recycling, had energy-efficient windows installed in the parish school and offered healthy, sustainable food and canning workshops. They even made use of composting bins, planted gardens, and became a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat site.

They advocated for access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries and participated in legislative advocacy, including a campaign to address environmental concerns in the George Washington National Forest.

“This was a huge parish and school team effort, and we have many people to thank for this certification,” said Downey. “This GreenFaith honor is a great milestone for us, as this culmination is not an end, but a motivation for all we have planned going forward.”

For details on the certification process, visit

For more information on St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, visit or call 703-221-4044.

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